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Archive for March, 2014

On April 1, I’ll be giving two talks on Digital Harlem at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Behind the Scenes at Digital Harlem

Tools-and-Techniques in the Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities Forum
TIME: 12:30-2:00pm
LOCATION: Penn Library

Digital Harlem is one of the earliest digital history projects to use Google Maps to visualize a range of historical sources, with the particular goal of exploring everyday life in the most famous black neighborhood of the 1920s. In this talk Stephen Robertson will discuss the process that produced the site, highlighting the contingencies, choices and failures that shaped the project, as well as the ways that Digital Harlem does not conform to the commonly held picture of large digital humanities projects.

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The Differences Digital Mapping Made: Thinking Spatially about Race and Sexuality in 1920s Harlem

Richard Shryock Lecture in American History
TIME: 4:30pm
LOCATION: 209 College Hall

Digital Mapping, like the use of other digital tools, raises questions rather than provides answers. In the case of Digital Harlem, some of those questions concern the character of the neighborhood’s nightlife and residences, and where individuals spent their time. The answers to those questions reveal that homes provided more privacy than reformers recognized, allowing residents to engage in a wide range of sexualities. At the same time, outside the home, black residents regularly encountered whites, whose presence throughout the neighborhood made interracial encounters and conflicts an everyday feature of life in the nation’s most famous ‘black metropolis.’

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